Updated Sept. 27, 2021.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses:
- Fever (above 100.4F degrees)
- Cough (not due to a chronic condition)
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden loss of sense of taste or smell
- Muscle aches (not due to a chronic condition)
- Diarrhea (not due to a chronic condition)
- Severe fatigue
- Nasal congestion (not due to a chronic condition)
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to prevent illness is to get vaccinated. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC recommendations and government orders for using a face covering.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
What to do if you develop symptoms
Call ahead to a healthcare professional—do not visit in person—if you develop any of the symptoms described above or if you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 and are not yet fully vaccinated.
Your healthcare professional will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.